A healthy heart is a happy heart – after all, it’s only when one is absolutely healthy that one is able to enjoy the finer things in life and truly be happy and at ease. This World Heart Day, take a moment to appreciate and fully understand the importance of heart health and what we can do to keep our hearts healthy.
Apart from exercising and going in for regular heart check-ups, what you can also do is whip up a few dishes made with ingredients that support heart health and are also tasty. Cue, walnuts. Walnuts are the only tree nut with an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5g/28g), an essential fatty acid that may play a role in heart health. They also provide you with protein (4g/28g) and have fiber (2g/28g), an important nutrient for heart health.
Eating walnuts as part of a healthy diet may decrease your risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death globally. They help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure, two of the major risk factors for heart disease. So, including a handful of walnuts in your diet, seems like an excellent idea. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick list of interesting recipes by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai that you can create using California walnuts to support and encourage the concept of heart health this World Heart Day.
Walnut Pear and Avocado Bowl
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, salt to taste
1/2 of a pear, peeled and cubed
1/4th of a ripe avocado
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups pre cooked chilled quinoa
2 cups small torn pieces curly kale
1/2 cup small thin slivers red onion
1 large pear, cored and sliced
1 1/4 of firm but ripe avocados, cut into bite-size cubes
3/4 cup very coarsely chopped California walnuts, toasted
Torn fresh cilantro leaves
1. Purée all dressing ingredients except pepper in a small blender until smooth.
2. Place quinoa in a large bowl and drizzle with dressing. Stir to coat, then stir in kale and pepper.
3. Place a slightly heaping 3/4 cup of quinoa mixture into bowls. Top each with 1/4 of a sliced pear, 1/6th of the diced avocado, 1 1/2 tablespoons red onion and 2 tablespoons walnuts. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Mediterranean Cod & Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
175g wholegrain rice
600ml chicken stock
250g cherry tomatoes
50g California walnuts, chopped
½ x 25g pack basil, shredded
4 x 120g cod filets
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the peppers and onion for 5 minutes, add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
2. Add the rice and stock, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Season.
3. Stir in the spinach, Walnuts and basil and nestle in the cod, recover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the fish is cooked and the rice is tender.
Cook’s tip: Try with salmon or hake filets too.
Pear & Walnut crumbles
50g wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon light muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
25g sunflower spread
25g California walnuts, chopped + extra to serve
2 tbsp plain soya yogurt + extra to serve
½ tbsp sunflower oil
4 Conference pears, halved and cored
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C,
2. Mix together the flour, sugar and ginger in a bowl, add the sunflower spread and rub in with your fingertip to give coarse breadcrumbs. Stir the oats, Walnuts and raisins. Mix in 2 tbsp yogurt and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the pears, cut side down for 3-4 minutes until golden and caramelized, transfer to a medium roasting tin, cut side up so that they fit in snugly. Press on the Walnut crumble mixture. Add 3 tbsp boiling water to the tin and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and the pears are tender.
4. Serve with extra yogurt and Walnuts sprinkled over.